The Magnificent Seven

Antoine Fuqua
Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke
"Magnificent Reimagining or Missed Target? - Seven`s Stand in 2016"

Posted Thursday, Nov 23, 2023 86

The 2016 iteration of `The Magnificent Seven` is a modern retake on the classic Western genre. It reimagines the story where denizens of a small town seek the aid of seven outlaws and gunslingers to protect them from the oppressive control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue. Assembling a diverse cast of characters, each with their own demons and moral compasses, the film gallops full speed towards a final, explosive confrontation that`s as much about personal redemption as it is about bullets and bravura.

The film sticks to classic Western themes such as justice, camaraderie, and redemption, while subtly weaving in modern narratives around unity and diversity. Its tone shifts between light-hearted banter and the grim reality of life and death, sometimes struggling to find a steady ground amidst the gun smoke.

With a stellar cast that includes the likes of Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt, `The Magnificent Seven` boasts powerful performances. Each character is given a moment to shine, although some feel underdeveloped, and the chemistry among the cast is palpable - a true posse in the making.

Under the guidance of Antoine Fuqua, the film teeters between respectful homage and ambitious re-envisioning. Though his direction keeps the story moving, the deeper dimensions of the characters often lie untapped beneath the surface.

The Magnificent Seven movie review

The score harks back to Western classics, giving scenes a traditional and nostalgic flair. The late James Horner, with contribution from Simon Franglen, provided a soundtrack that is both rousing and melancholic, fitting neatly into the vast landscapes and fraught standoffs.

The sweeping vistas and gritty close-ups are beautifully captured to juxtapose the beauty of the frontier with the harshness of its reality. Mauro Fiore takes command of the camera, ensuring the spirit of the Wild West is as breathtaking as it`s envisioned to be.

Production design recreates an authentic-looking town of the Old West, down to the saloons and dusty streets. It`s a setting that engages the audience and transports them straight into the era of horse carriages and swinging tavern doors.

Gunfights and explosions are convincingly executed with contemporary visual effects, yet they honor the less-is-more aesthetics of the Westerns of yore. The practical effects stand out, giving weight to the showdowns and skirmishes.

The Magnificent Seven movie review

The film`s editing is punchy, rarely leaving a dull moment, though occasionally it sacrifices clarity for style. Transition between scenes is mostly fluid, keeping the narrative tight enough for viewers to follow the story`s progression.

The pace is a gallop and a trot in equal measure, quickening as the climactic battle approaches. While mostly effective, it sometimes struggles to give enough breathing room to the character`s development amidst the action.

Dialogs range from witty one-liners to stirring speeches, though not all lines hit the mark. The script indulges in the Western dialect without becoming pastiche, delivering some memorable exchanges.

While `The Magnificent Seven` is an entertaining romp through the Wild West, it stumbles on its own ambition to both pay tribute to and reinvent the Western genre. There`s a sense that the film`s potential is not fully realized, with more to explore within the characters` pasts and psyches.

Ultimately, `The Magnificent Seven` left me feeling exhilarated yet contemplative. The camaraderie between the characters conjured a sense of nostalgia for the Westerns of old, while the intense action sequences gripped my attention until the very last gunshot. It`s a film that rides into the sunset with bravado, though one can`t help but wish it took a few more risks along the way. While it may not be as timeless as its 1960 predecessor or the film that inspired it, Kurosawa`s `Seven Samurai`, it remains a commendable effort in bringing the Western to a new generation.